Pastor’s message January 17, 2023

Growing and Building Trust in 2023

Four years ago, when I embarked on my doctoral research project, ten church members volunteered to participate in a Bible study and information sessions around the topics of grief, hospice, and end-of-life care. We studied the story of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, and we heard from hospice employees about what is expected at the end of life. At the beginning and end of the study, the group answered questions about what helped them the most.

Two outcomes intrigued me. One was that the sharing of direct information about hospice put many more at ease by dispelling misconceptions. Another was that the group felt they had bonded and built trust with one another because of the time spent together.

As we begin to unearth God’s vision for us as a congregation this year, I remembered these two insights from the study and realized how they apply to us as a church. In order for us to grow, we have to build trust with one another. To build trust, we have to get to know one another, spend time with one another, pray together, and study God’s Word. This is a priority for us as we explore God’s vision for us moving forward.

Last December, our Annual Conference treasurer, David Stotts, shared a lot of information with us about happenings in our denomination and the disaffiliation process at an Exploration meeting. Minutes from that meeting are available in the church office if you’d like a copy. If you couldn’t attend, I encourage you to talk to folks who did. More about this information will be shared and discussed as we move through this year.

We are working on some times of prayer, Bible study, and discussion that we’ll be sharing more with you in the week ahead. Please be sure that you are worshipping each Sunday as we listen for God’s unfolding vision. I’ll share more information in next week’s newsletter, in the worship services, and at Wednesday Night Supper. What a great year we have in store of growing closer to God and building trust with one another!

all good things to each of you,
Dr. Darian

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